Sock darning

We’re in lockdown, and apparently I’m not the only one deciding to learn something new.  I’ve looked up how to do some simple darning because I suspect the method I’ve been using is a little unorthodox. Here’s a link to some darning instructions.

I thought I even owned a wooden darning mushroom, but haven’t used it before – when I finally tracked it down it was in a box with the playdough and had been having a good alternative use!

The only wool I have that I think might be suitable is bright red. I offered to darn everyones socks – as long as they don’t mind red. This put me in mind of Henry Ford’s famous line “You can have your car in any colour you want, as long as it’s black”, and I came across a similar thing recently when reading about Ernesto Oroza‘s work documenting repairs and repurposing in Cuba where he refers to a rust-red paint cheaply available in the 1990’s – hence many items there being painted red.

I discovered that the kinds of repairs I had been doing in the past is best classed as needleweaving but darning is different and I would describe it as a sort of blister of weaving over the top of the hole.

Needle weaving repairs are more like scars – the fabric is rejoined – whereas darning creates a much neater looking patch. But is it stronger? I intend to have a go with stronger yarn and maybe I’ll find out.

Update 2021

As I suspected – my red wool was not strong!

Visual mending

Slip of the tongue? It is called Visible Mending in contrast to Invisible Mending but for some reason I found my self using the term Visual Mending right from when I first heard it, so that’s what it is for me.

Visible mending has really taken off in recent years and there are thousands of inspiring photos on the internet, and plenty of techniques to try and books to read. I hope it turns out not to be just a trend but more of a mindset.